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RSNA never ceases to amaze, even after a year of news


All year long, we at Diagnostic Imaging write about important radiology issues. You might think that by the time the RSNA meeting rolls around, we would have covered just about everything. Well, in a sense, we have. But the reality is that the "big show" never ceases to amaze us. Each year, forecasted trends don't materialize, surprise trends sneak up, and the usual number of boom and bust predictions either boom . . . or bust.

The clinical buzz this year was 64-slice CT. At the 2004 meeting, only a handful of papers discussed this new technology. This year, the bolus ran over.

Utilization topics received their due, but the tone was quieter this year, mainly due to the government siding with the American College of Radiology on this issue.

And compared with the loud splash in September made by the release of the DMIST study results, breast imaging sessions at the RSNA meeting might have been viewed as little more than background noise. But breast tomosynthesis changed that. While far from mature, breast tomosynthesis appears to be here to stay.

Molecular imaging got the requisite push-and then some. In one lecture, radiologists were chastened not to become too complacent in analyzing anatomic structures. The future, we're told, is in cellular therapies and nanotechnology, but you wouldn't know that based on attendance figures for sessions tied to molecular topics.

But if I had to sum up the meeting in three words, they'd be: CAD, CAD, CAD. Computer-aided detection is everywhere, and some luminaries worry that computers will make human interpreters obsolete. That may be the very scare needed to fill seats in the molecular imaging sessions.

C.P. Kaiser, news editor of Diagnostic Imaging

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